Hat Tricks Use 3rd Period Comeback To Take Shootout Win Friday Night

Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons found themselves on the wrong side of a 3rd period comeback as Danbury took out of three points on the weekend with a shootout win 3-2 on Friday night.

Jay Croop started off the scoring for the night with a power play goal at the 11:04 period assisted by Jack Riley and Brad Nolan during a 5-on-3 power play opportunity the Dragons cashed in on early. Later in the period, Austin Daae extended the Columbus lead to 2-0 at the 18:27 mark of the period after an odd puck bounce from the right wing corner went right onto Daae's stick as he shot home his 29th of the season.

A scoreless 2nd period saw Danbury climb back into the game momentum wise with a couple of power play opportunities late in the 2nd, however Bailey MacBurnie stood all all period long to keep the game at 2-0.

Nicola Levesque scored on the power play at the 4:58 mark of the third period to begin to turn the tide in Danbury’s favor and cut the Columbus lead to 2-1, Jonny Ruiz made the goal happen ringing the post on the shot before. Dmitry Kuznetsov tied the game up at the 16:49 mark of the third set up with a top notch pass from behind the net by Tobias Odjick which would put the game at 2-2.

In the game's final minute Hunter Bersani had a clean look at goal but was stopped by the outstretched blocker of Brian Wilson in a save of the year candidate stop to keep the game at 2-2 and send it to overtime.

After neither team was able to convert on the 3 on 3 play, the game headed to a shootout. Dmitry Kuznetsov scored the first shootout goal in the top of the 1st and Jonny Ruiz ended it with a goal in the top of the 5th. None of the four Columbus shooters could solve Brian Wilson as the Hat Tricks took two points. 

Brian Wilson took a hard fought win with 37 saves on 39 shots and going perfect in the shootout. Bailey MacBurnie suffered the loss with a 34 save night.

The same two teams go at it again tomorrow night at the Civic Center with a 7:30 puck drop. The game will be broadcast live on WTVM Bounce 9.2 locally in Columbus.

Three Stars of the Game

Brian Wilson
Jonny Ruiz
Bailey MacBurnie